Hiking to Peguche Waterfall

Welcome to the first Wellness Weekend link-up in 2020! I hope the first eighteen days of January have gone well for everyone and you’ve got some time to warm up before tackling your New Year’s plans with gusto.

Why Warm Up?

A warm-up is helpful at the beginning of a fitness session to get our mind and body ready for subsequent and more intense activities. In my previous post, I shared that one of my ten favourite experiences in Ecuador is hiking. The first hike that my sister and I did is an easy hike to Peguche waterfall near Otavalo. It’s our warm-up hike to prepare us for more strenuous hikes later on.

About Peguche Waterfall

Peguche waterfall is 5 minutes northwest of the city of Otavalo which is located 110 km north of Quito and 2530 meters above sea level. Peguche waterfall is a sacred place in the culture of the indigenous peoples of Otavalo.

I categorize this hike as Easy because the trail is flat and well-defined. The length of the trail is just right (about 3 km return). There are a few points of interest along the way, and the highlight is a beautiful waterfall. Otavalo’s spring-like climate in December also makes it ideal for hiking. So we headed to Peguche trail.

Welcome sign to Peguche waterfall

Once we entered the Peguche trail, we were surrounded by beautiful tall trees and lush green shrubs. The winding path was easy to walk on. Mosses and lichen covered the low rock walls that protect the trees from foot traffic.

Trail to Peguche waterfall

The trail is about 1.5 km long. It took us about twenty minutes to reach the bridge that faces the waterfall. Peguche waterfall is a beautiful waterfall of 18 m in height, formed by the river of the same name, which starts at Lake San Pablo. The lush green vegetation embraces the waterfall. The clouds moved in and out to give us some sun.

Peguche Waterfall

We stood on the bridge for a while to enjoy the views before walking up the paths along both sides of the falls to reach the Lookout platform (Mirador), and onto some big rocks to get closer to the waterfall. We could feel great volumes of mist from the powerful waterfall.

Peguche waterfall

The local people name Peguche waterfall Forest Protector (Bosque Protector), because all of the trees get their water from the waterfall’s mists and the downstream gushing water. On the night of the summer solstice, the waterfall becomes the privileged place for community ritual bath, as a first step to celebrate the Festival of the Sun (Inti Raymi).

Peguche waterfall downstream

As we walked along the trail, I could hear bird songs and spotted a number of plants with pretty flowers. There were also lots of ferns and orchid plants that cohabit with tall eucalyptus trees. The sun came out and everything glowed.

Peguche trail

Outside the Peguche trail, to the left is the Sun Dial (Inti Watana) site, also known as the Solar Calendar. The site includes a round adobe wall with a sun dial in the centre. People from different communities come together to offer their crops to the Sun god (Inti), and celebrate the summer solstice here.

Inti Watana in Peguche
Sun dial in Peguche

It was a nice short hike on a beautiful morning in Peguche. Altogether we did about 3 km return trip (about 2 miles). We learned something new about Peguche waterfall. The warm-up hike and nature gave me new energy. I looked forward to more hiking in Ecuador. Happy trails!

Trail from Peguche waterfall

Click here to join in the Wellness Weekend 2020 link-up and share your wellness-related post. As your host, I will read your blog and leave a comment.

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92 thoughts on “Hiking to Peguche Waterfall

  1. Jill Weatherholt January 19, 2020 / 6:43 am

    If this doesn’t motivate you, I’m not sure anything will. Thanks for taking us along, Natalie. Your photos are stunning!


    • Natalie January 19, 2020 / 10:58 am

      Thank you, Jill, for your kind comment. I’m glad you liked my photos. Nature, especially water, has a way to draw us in. Have a wonderful Sunday!


    • Christie Hawkes January 24, 2020 / 7:54 am

      Isn’t that the truth!


  2. Suzanne@PictureRetirement January 19, 2020 / 8:11 am

    Natalie, thanks for taking me along on your ‘warm up’ walk today. The promise of a beautiful waterfall is always worth the effort.


    • Natalie January 19, 2020 / 10:59 am

      Thank you, Suzanne, for your comment. A beautiful waterfall within easy reach is not to be missed. Have a wonderful Sunday!


    • Natalie January 19, 2020 / 11:02 am

      Thank you, John and Susan, for your comment. This hike reminds me of the “forest bathing” practice in Japan. Peaceful is a very good description.


  3. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond January 19, 2020 / 5:31 pm

    So beautiful Natalie. I don’t go hiking very often but there are some hiking trails about 30 minutes from where I live so I should try to use them. Will try to link up with WW this time, if not, definitely next month. x


    • Natalie January 19, 2020 / 6:50 pm

      I love walking and hiking, Sue. Don’t be surprised if you get hooked once you try the hiking trails near where you live. Thank you for linking up with #WW2020. The link-up is open for about two weeks so lots of time for bloggers to join.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond January 22, 2020 / 6:35 pm

        Hi Natalie, thanks for joining us for our 100th #MLSTL and hopefully yes I will find some hiking trails to try in the Hinterland. Have a great week. x


        • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 7:16 pm

          Congrats, Sue, and thank you for hosting the 100th MLSTL link party. I look forward to reading your next post. Have a wonderful week!


  4. Carol January 19, 2020 / 7:34 pm

    Amazing photos and I’d love to explore here


    • Natalie January 19, 2020 / 7:42 pm

      Thank you, Carol, for your kind comment. We enjoyed this hike and the Peguche waterfall very much.


  5. Kerrie @travelswithmum January 19, 2020 / 8:55 pm

    Wow! As a hiker myself I can see why you choose this hike as a warm up…. it looks absolutely gorgeous and the power of that waterfall is amazing!


    • Natalie January 19, 2020 / 9:39 pm

      Thank you, Kerrie, for your comment. This flat and short hike was perfect while we acclimatized to the high elevation. The beautiful waterfall was a wonderful treat.


  6. Debbie from Deb's World January 20, 2020 / 12:37 am

    I loved the walk with you Natalie and learning new things (again) from you . Thanks so much #lifethisweek


    • Natalie January 20, 2020 / 8:51 am

      Thank you, Sanch, for your kind comment. I love the lush green surroundings on this hike and the waterfall is a very nice treat.


  7. Laurie January 20, 2020 / 8:46 am

    Now I definitely know we must spend more time in Equador when we go to the Galapagos. What a beautiful spot. We are currently in Asheville, NC, which is known for its beautiful waterfalls nearby, but it’s so COLD!!! I don’t know how much hiking we will do.


    • Natalie January 20, 2020 / 9:03 am

      I hope the temperature warms up for you to do some hiking in NC. I’ve seen photos of the natural scenery in NC and it’s beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. restlessjo January 20, 2020 / 11:07 am

    As nice a way to warm up as any I know, Natalie! Love walking to a waterfall and I’ll accompany you on this one any time you like. 🙂 🙂 Thanks a lot!


    • Natalie January 20, 2020 / 12:13 pm

      I’d love to accompany you on your walks any time, too. Thank you, Jo, for stopping by. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Erica/Erika January 20, 2020 / 8:09 pm

    Hi Natalie, The first thing I notice in your post is all the greenery. Trees, shrubs, mosses, lichen, vegetation. I can almost feel the mist in your description. Very interesting on the community ritual bath. Thank you for sharing an amazing hike! I appreciate all of the photos. I have been experimenting more with my phone after our last conversation. Thank you!


    • Natalie January 20, 2020 / 8:27 pm

      Hi Erica/ Erika – I find the greenery at Peguche waterfall very soothing. Walking the trail amid that much green made me think of the “forest bathing” practice in Japan. The waterfall was running strong when I was there. I greatly appreciate that you took the time to read my post and type your comment. I try to keep my post around 600-700 words although I don’t always get it right 🙂 I look forward to seeing some of the photos you took with your phone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erica/Erika January 21, 2020 / 9:55 am

        No right or wrong rules on the word count, Natalie. I think it depends on the story. Thinking about you Natalie yesterday since I saw a comment you may be going to Iceland this Spring? I think you have been there before. I have a guest post on Leanne’s Crestingthehill Feb. 13th. One of the themes is how Iceland changed my life. I am excited to read about your trip and see your photos. We want to go back sooner than later🙂


        • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 10:18 am

          Yes, I’ve been to Iceland before, a while ago. It’s one of the countries that has called me to return. I’ve been delaying going back as I wanted to explore other places in the world. The call is louder in my mind this year so I’m going there in the spring. I look forward to reading your post on Feb 13.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Candi Randolph January 21, 2020 / 6:44 am

    What a beautiful environment for a healthy walk, Natalie! I loved your descriptive narrative and the photos that accompanied it…almost like I was there with you. I love to walk and would someday love to enjoy hiking as well. It’s on my list 🙂


    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 8:14 am

      Thank you, Candi, for your kind comment. I work to improve my writing so your words encourage me to keep going 🙂 With your love to walk, you’ll enjoy hiking. There are hikes for all levels. Thank you again for joining the Wellness Weekend 2020 series. The next link up is on Feb 16.


  11. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com January 21, 2020 / 8:43 am

    With a warm-up hike like that one, I am afraid I would want to do nothing but warm up!! Absolutely beautiful. So many of our hikes wind up with us off the beaten path because the beaten path is so hard to distinguish. I would appreciate this well marked trail. Your descriptions are so good, I could almost feel the sun come out and the birds’ chorus. Especially nice day because you shared it with your sister.


    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 10:24 am

      Oh Leslie, you made me smile when you said my descriptions are so good. Thank you! My sister and I have made fun memories together on this trip for sure. This hike is great in many ways and I wanted to share it with my blog readers. Our WW2020 series is off to a promising start. Thank you for co-hosting it with me.


  12. The Cheesesellers Wife January 21, 2020 / 1:31 pm

    What a fantastic waterfall! Unfortunately here in central southern England there are no waterfalls to hike to, although I did walk around a 2000 year old hill fort at lunchtime. No day seems to be complete without a good walk…..


    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 1:54 pm

      Welcome, Kim, to my blog, and thank you for your comment. I’d love to walk around a 2000 year old hill fort and imagine all sorts of historic happenings. A daily walk is essential to our mind, body and spirit. I read a few of your poems on your blog just now. How wonderful that you can write poems…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 4:45 pm

      Thank you, Donna, for joining me on this hike virtually. I want to go to Ecuador again IRL, too 🙂


  13. Suzanne January 21, 2020 / 6:05 pm

    Wow, that is one impressive waterfall, Natalie. Must be a high rainfall area. Even perhaps even better than the waterfall is the stone paths and walls! What an exciting place for a hike. No hiking for me for a while, my knee is protesting too much! Walks are still very much enjoyed.


    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 9:19 pm

      Walking is good, Suzanne, and more gentle on our knees. We saw lots of strong waterfalls while we were in Ecuador. This hike is an enjoyable one that I want to share with others. Best of all, it wasn’t crowded at all when were there, maybe because we went there first thing in the morning.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Suzanne January 21, 2020 / 10:03 pm

        It is a big bonus having a sight mostly to yourselves. I love walking and it sort of balances out my love of food.


  14. Jo January 21, 2020 / 6:09 pm

    That’s a lovely trail & an impressive waterfall. I love the name & what it means. It seemed strange, though, seeing the agapanthas, a flower I associate with summer in Australia, along the path.


    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 9:22 pm

      Ecuador has many interesting micro-climates and flora. Aside from the agapanthas, I also saw eucalyptus trees which are more native to Australia.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. csuhpat1 January 21, 2020 / 8:48 pm

    That is so beautiful. Very nice. What a wonderful hike. #MLSTL


    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 9:23 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I great;y appreciate it.


  16. Michele @michelevosberg.com January 21, 2020 / 8:55 pm

    I did not do this while I was in Otavalo and the surrounding area. How could I have missed it? I am sad that I missed it because it looks beautiful. I have been to the area twice but visited the small towns in the area. If I ever get back there I will have to make it a must-see!


    • Natalie January 21, 2020 / 9:27 pm

      A good reason to return to Otavalo, Michele. I recommend this hike for sure. It’s easy to do, with beautiful scenery and a rich history.


  17. leannelc January 21, 2020 / 11:52 pm

    What a beautiful place Natalie (and not just the waterfall – there was so much more to see in your photos). I also liked the fact that there was a decent walking path to make the hike more pleasant (that beats trudging through sand, mud or rocky ground any day!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 5:11 pm

      Hi Leanne – This waterfall is a sacred place for the local people so the trail and the forest are well-maintained. Thank you for hosting the 100th MLSTL link up and sharing on your SM.


  18. Jo (A Rose Tinted World) January 22, 2020 / 3:11 am

    What stunning scenery. And love the history behind it all. Gorgeous photos. Would love to visit one day.


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 5:13 pm

      Thank you, Jo, for your visit and comment. Ecuador has beautiful landscape and Peguche waterfall is one example.


  19. joarosetintedworld January 22, 2020 / 3:12 am

    What stunning scenery. I would love to visit this place someday. Love the history too!


  20. Bojana January 22, 2020 / 7:52 am

    Stunning. The natural beauty is just breathtaking. Even though I’ve never been there, I felt the sun and the calmness of nature wash over me as I read your words and looked your photographs. I also really appreciated the little historical and cultural facts you shared with us.


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 5:17 pm

      Thank you, Bojana, for your kind comment. It made me happy to hear that my words and photos had a positive sensory effect on you when you read my blog post. Thanks again for joining the Wellness Weekend 2020 series. The next link up date is on Feb 16.


  21. Amy Johnson January 22, 2020 / 8:04 am

    Oh my goodness! So beautiful! I would love to hike this trail! Visiting from MSTL.


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 5:18 pm

      Thank you, Amy, for your visit and comment. I’m glad you like this trail.


  22. Veronica Lee January 22, 2020 / 12:31 pm

    That looks like a lovely hike! Beautiful photos, Natalie!


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 5:19 pm

      Thank you, Veronica, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.


  23. Joanne January 22, 2020 / 2:54 pm

    What a beautiful hike! My boys and I try to get out a few days a week whenever the weather permits.


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 5:21 pm

      That’s great that you and your boys enjoy the outdoors. Mother Nature is an amazing teacher when we pay attention to her. Thank you, Joanne, for stopping by.


  24. Lisa Dorenfest ~ One Ocean At A Time January 22, 2020 / 4:05 pm

    I was excited from the moment I took my first step virtually on the lovely stone path and was taken aback by the beauty of the Peguche waterfall. Such grandeur and easily accessible (at least to the viewing bridge). How I would love to visit this Bosque Protector during the summer solstice.


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 5:29 pm

      You have a gifted talent for words, Lisa. I learned later that the locals also celebrate Pawkar Raymi (Flower Festival) at Peguche waterfall during the Spring equinox. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. betty - NZ January 22, 2020 / 6:53 pm

    What a fabulous hike! I’m so glad you share your photos with us.

    It’s delightful to see you at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week!


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you, Betty, for your kind comment. It’s my pleasure to share this hike with my blogging friends and readers.


  26. RedneckRhapsody January 22, 2020 / 7:41 pm

    Wow, it’s gorgeous there! I would love to visit there. Your pictures are beautiful. I would love for you to do a guest travel post, shoot me know if your interested.


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 8:16 pm

      Welcome, Trina, to my blog! I greatly appreciate your comment and your offer to do a guest travel post. I’m unable to commit to write a guest travel post at the moment due to my full schedule. I hope you understand and will continue our blogging connections. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Min Write of the Middle January 22, 2020 / 8:14 pm

    How beautiful is that hike! Gorgeous! It could almost be in Australia with the Eucalyptus trees. Fantastic warm up hike. Loved your descriptions and photos – thank Natalie. xo


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 8:24 pm

      I’m glad you like this hike, Min. There are many small pretty flowers along the trail, too. Lots of photo opportunities 🙂


  28. Denyse Whelan January 22, 2020 / 8:34 pm

    How wonderful is this walk and the scenery. And I think I could so this one!! I like its length and gentle path.

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is 4/51 Australia 27.1.2020. Hope to see you there too. Denyse.


    • Natalie January 22, 2020 / 8:48 pm

      Thank you, Denyse, for your comment. This hike is very nice and gentle. It also has lots of small wonders like pretty flowers, unexpected plants, etc. to engage our senses. I look forward to reading your next post.


  29. Cindy Moore January 23, 2020 / 8:33 pm

    What a beautiful hike! I so love the energy of waterfalls. I’d love to spend time in this amazing country! I’ll check out your wellness link too!

    Visiting from #senisal


    • Natalie January 23, 2020 / 9:30 pm

      Hi Cindy – I’m with you on the energy of waterfalls. Thank you for your comment and for linking up with me on Wellness Weekend 2020. The next link up date is Feb 16. Hope to see you then.


    • Natalie January 24, 2020 / 9:24 am

      Gracias y bienvenido a mi blog!


  30. Christie Hawkes January 24, 2020 / 7:52 am

    These sounds like the perfect hike for me. I like the well-defined trails that are in the midst of spectacular nature. The falls photos are beautiful. I can imagine what they must look like in person. It makes me happy just thinking about it. Thanks for sharing!


    • Natalie January 24, 2020 / 9:32 am

      Hi Christie – I’m glad the waterfall makes you happy thinking about it. Thank you for reading my post and commenting. This hike is easy to follow, it’s well-maintained, very scenic, and it offers a direct view of the waterfall so I want to share it with all my blogging friends and readers.


  31. BoomingOn January 25, 2020 / 6:34 pm

    What a beautiful walk to do! Thanks for sharing it and the pictures.


    • Natalie January 25, 2020 / 6:58 pm

      Thank you, Christine, for your comment and for linking up with me on the first Wellness Weekend 2020. Hope to see you at the next link-up on Feb 16.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BoomingOn January 25, 2020 / 7:43 pm

        Thanks, Natalie – I’ve bookmarked it.


    • Natalie January 29, 2020 / 3:18 pm

      Welcome, Bette, to my blog and thank you for your comment. Yes, this destination is very nice 🙂


  32. navasolanature January 29, 2020 / 4:01 pm

    So wonderful to be transported to so far away and see such beautiful trees and the falls. I made it to Peru some years ago and would love to visit Ecuador.


    • Natalie January 29, 2020 / 5:06 pm

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment. How wonderful that you’ve been to Peru. I was there a few years ago. I hope you get to visit Ecuador. I really like South America.

      Liked by 1 person

      • navasolanature January 29, 2020 / 5:22 pm

        Yo tambien, it’s probably why I now mainly live in Spain.


        • Natalie January 29, 2020 / 6:28 pm

          Excellent choice, Georgina. I love Spain. I’ll visit your blog shortly.

          Liked by 1 person

  33. Dr Sock February 3, 2020 / 1:30 am

    Natalie, the lush greenery along the path and around the waterfall is so beautiful. The sound of the water must have been incredible. I can see why this would be a sacred spot for the indigenous people of the area.



    • Natalie February 3, 2020 / 8:25 am

      Jude – This hike is one of my favourites in Ecuador. Looking at the waterfall, listening to the sound of rushing water, feeling the mist, while standing in green space was a therapeutic and uplifting experience.


  34. Aussiewalkabouts February 3, 2020 / 6:44 am

    This looks unreal, I might have to add it to the list!!


    • Natalie February 3, 2020 / 8:39 am

      It’s a very nice hike. Thank you for your visit and comment.


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